March 10, 2003
Celebrity's ship-by-ship transformation program, which is in the process of folding a host of new features into the onboard experience, is on schedule. So far, three vessels --Millennium, the "test" ship, Mercury and Constellation -- have already rolled out the new look, which aims to offer more options and flexibility -- and less regimentation. Summit's the next to get the Celebrity treatment and the company says it will be completed by April 14. Infinity's on schedule for a May 6 date and the remaining ships -- Galaxy (June 6), Century (June 28), Horizon (July 16) and Zenith (August 9)-- will be completed more or less at the rate of one-a-month. What's the big deal about the transformations -- also dubbed "rebranding"? The most readily identifiable differences include extended dining hours, AquaSpas that open early and stay late, announcement-free disembarkation and the introduction of a Concierge Desk. The Cova Cafe will undergo its own transformation on a daily basis as the charming coffee-cafe-by-day becomes a sophisticated wine bar at night. Michael's Club, the fleet's underused cigar bar, has been overhauled and serves as a piano and jazz bar. No cigars are allowed. No less sweet are some of Celebrity's small touches, such as Cold towels distributed to guests as they return from shore excursions; complimentary sorbet, lemonade, water and iced tea served poolside on sea days and complimentary "welcome aboard" champagne at embarkation.